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This year’s venue highlight was the pre-opening of the new built Hans Otto Theatre at the Schiffbauergasse just before the official opening two weeks later. Yet the ample beauties of Potsdam rich landscape of gardens and palaces were not disregarded.  Be it Schloss Glienicke, as venue for the workshops, just next to the historically important Glienicke bridge, or the Raffael Hall, hidden in the unostentatious Orangery of Park Sanssouci Potsdam took the chance yet again to present itself from its most beautiful side. 

Hans Otto Theatre
After 211 years a theatre has been opened again in Potsdam – the end of a long time of improvised and temporary venues.  The new theatre is located at the cultural site Schiffbauergasse – picturesquely and beautifully situated at the shores of the lake Tiefer See. The building is the work of the well-known architect Gottfried Böhme from Cologne. The distinctive roof, shaped like a shell, opens towards the lakeside and offers a impressive view towards the world heritage Park Babelsberg.
The auditorium has a capacity of 470 seats which thanks to lifting platforms can be raised or lowered according to need. Exceptionally modern digital light and sound equipment guarantee a theatre evening which will satisfy highest technical expectations. A listed building, a gasometer, has been harmonically integrated into the building, as well as the succory mill tower from the 19th century, now being used as a restaurant.
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Glienicke Castle
Glienicke was built in an "antique style" according to Karl Friedrich Schinkel's designs. The palace, the Casino, and two pavilions, known as the "Great Curiosity" and the "Small Curiosity" were clearly structured with well-balanced proportions each radiating a "bright, festive dignity", which even Goethe and Winckelmann admired. The Red Hall forms the centre of the interior, to which are attached the Green Salon, the Turquoise Bedchamber of the princess, the Marble Room and the Deep Blue Library. The gilded frames of the paintings glisten upon the brightly coloured walls, the chandeliers sparkle, while the marble fireplaces and Schinkel's exquisite furniture set the accents. Everything is very luxurious, with each individual component formed in the right proportions that contributes to a harmonious whole.

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Raphael Hall in the Orangery in Sanssouci Park
The Orangery in Sanssouci Park is an impressive example of the buildings created by Frederick William IV, who was known as the "Romantic on the throne". The imposing building complex - including greenhouses and the central Orangery Palace, sculptures, fountains, arcades and terraces - brings a bit of the Mediterranean sun to Potsdam, while graphically documenting Frederick William IV's ardent admiration for Italy. Italian Renaissance villas served as its models.  The architectural ensemble was created between 1851-64. During the extended construction period, Ludwig Persius, August Stüler and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse were responsible for the plans, although the king's designs were unquestionably incorporated.
The impressive Raphael Hall, located in the central section of the three-winged complex, accommodates a notable collection of more than 50, 19th century copies of paintings by Raphael.
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